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Kumbhāṇḍa was a dialectal form for "gourd", so they may get their name from being thought to resemble gourds in some way, e.g. in having big stomachs. But kumbhāṇḍa can also be interpreted as "pot-egg"; since "egg" (aṇḍa) was a common euphemism for "testicle", the kumbhāṇḍas were imagined having testicles "as big as pots".
The terms kumbhāṇḍa and yakṣa are sometimes used for the same person; yakṣa in these cases is the more general term, including a variety of lower deities.
The kumbhāṇḍas are classed among the Cāturmahārājikakāyika deities, and are subject to the Great King Virūḷhaka, Guardian of the South. One of their chiefs is called Kumbhīra.
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